SRINAGAR Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti Saturday termed the ban on Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) an act of “vengeance” by the Centre, saying it would have “dangerous consequences”.
“There is an atmosphere of vengeance in the state, especially in the Valley after JeI youths and leaders were arrested. JeI is a social and political organisation. It is an ideology and I do not think you can imprison an ideology by arresting some activists of the outfit. We totally condemn it,” Mehbooba told reporters at the PDP headquarters here.
The PDP president said while there was no action against those persons responsible for incidents of lynching in the country, “a social organisation involved in helping the poor” in Kashmir has been banned.
“You have Shiv Sena, Jan Sangh, RSS in the country who have lynched people on the basis of eating a type of meat, but there was no action. However, an organisation which has been helping the poor and running schools has been banned and its activists put in jails. We will not allow this. Its consequences will be dangerous,” she said.
Mehbooba asked the Centre not to turn Jammu and Kashmir into a prison. “You cannot imprison an ideology, we live in a democratic nation and in a democracy, there is battle of ideas. If you have a better idea, let there be a battle on that, but do not turn J-K into a prison.
“We had not allowed the BJP to do whatever it is doing now (during the PDP-BJP coalition), but unfortunately there is no one to stop them (now). When a Kashmiri is beaten, people applaud and become happy,” she said.
When asked about the sealing of properties of Jamaat leaders, including schools run by the organisation, the former chief minister said it was unfortunate and should not have been done.
“It is unfortunate as these schools were providing education to the poorest of poor. Their students are meritorious. Where will all these students go after their schools have been banned. They are playing with our future and this is very wrong. They should rather ban (RSS) shakhas where swords are displayed. No Jamaati carries a sword,” she said.
Condemning the recent NIA raids on moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s properties, Mehbooba said the Centre wants every Kashmiri to pay for “a thought which is in his mind”.
“I condemn the NIA raids on Mirwaiz. After all, he is the religious head of Jammu and Kashmir and has respect among the people. All these are acts of vengeance and it seems that they (Centre) want every Kashmiri to pay for a thought which is in his mind,” she said.
Geelani urges collective narrative
Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani Saturday said people in general and pro-freedom camp in particular need to put a collective narrative against the government banning Jamaat-e-Islami.
If we turn a blind eye to the onslaught on our basic and fundamental rights, the day will not be too far when we all will be kicked out of our residences to accommodate their majority, same way the Israeli Zionist have done in Palestine.
Condemning in strongest terms this unethical and undemocratic act by the forced occupier, Geelani in a statement said that the ban was a blot on the so-called Indian democracy.
He said that every political or religious party has their own narrative of the political instability and decade old dispute of Jammu and Kashmir and they serve their ideologies within the contours of the law and Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir is propagating their manifesto accordingly as all others do. Those who can push their poor population to the flames of nuclear war can go to any extent to retain power, he said.
Geelani said such coercive and arbitrary measures have been tried earlier also, when in 1975, India was engulfed in the black clouds of emergency and the tallest politician of Jammu Kashmir imported that emergency in the state, banning Jamaat-e-Islami and arresting thousands of its leaders and workers, but time has proved it beyond the doubt that those on the path of justice and righteousness, can never be cowed down by a such repressive measures.
Delhi rulers have waged war against the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Jamaat workers and its office bearers are arrested, their property seized, their vehicles snatched away and even their residences are being sealed, making their families homeless in their own homeland, Geelani said.
He said India has been following the footsteps of its mentor and partner in crime Israel as both play historical victimhood at the hands of Muslims and both are cunning and cruel to their core. India is the biggest purchaser of Israeli arms and ammunition, being used in Kashmir and Pakistan. Indian government has already put their point-man on the governing spot to take the mission along and now they have started to achieve their targets one by one, he said.
Geelani said it is unfortunate and pathetic that our sold out souls of bureaucracy, without applying their own mind and logic, blindly follow the dictates of their masters to prove themselves more loyal than the king.
They quickly swing into action to throttle every voice of dissent, negating the ethics and moral contours of the democracy they have taken oath to honor. Meanwhile, Geelani was shocked and saddened to hear about the tragic road accidents at Udhampur and Kishtwar where about 13 people lost their life and dozens got injured.
Differ With Jamaat But Cant Support Crackdown: Omar
National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah Saturday said the Centre should reconsider its decision of banning the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) as the move would serve no purpose except “to drive their activities underground”.
“The centre should reconsider its recent decision. The situation in J&K had improved drastically between 1996 and 2014/15 without having to resort to such bans. There is nothing to suggest that this ban will in any way contribute to any improvement on the ground,” he wrote on Twitter.
The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir said after the outbreak of turmoil in the state, the organisation was banned for more than five years in 1990, but such a ban “served no purpose and achieved nothing”.
“In the battle of ideas & ideologies we in the @JKNC_ have always opposed the Jammat in the political space. The recent ban & crackdown against their leadership, members, schools & properties will serve no purpose except to drive their activities underground,” he said.
Omar said while his party always had a difficult relationship with the JeI, he cannot support the crackdown on its leaders and activists.
“The @JKNC_ has always had a difficult relationship with the Jamaat in J&K & have often been on different sides of the ideological divide. In spite of these difference I can not support the recent crack down against them (sic),” he added.
The Centre on Thursday banned the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir for five years under anti-terror law on grounds that it was “in close touch” with militant outfits and is expected to “escalate secessionist movement” in the state.
A notification, banning the group under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs after a high-level meeting on security, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.